Win­ter storm watches is­sued for north­east Ga.

Up to 10 inches of snow pos­si­ble in Rabun and Haber­sham coun­ties.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - METRO - By Chelsea Prince [email protected]

When a com­plex of storms bring inches of heavy rain to North Ge­or­gia this week­end, some ar­eas in the north­east cor­ner of the state could see snow and ice.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice has is­sued win­ter storm watches for Haber­sham, Rabun, Lump­kin, Towns, Union and White coun­ties ahead of the big weather event. A watch is sched­uled to go into ef­fect for Haber­sham and Rabun at 7 p.m. to­day and ex­pire at noon Mon­day. A sec­ond watch be­gins at 1 a.m. Sun­day and goes through 1 a.m. Mon­day for the re­main­ing coun­ties, ac­cord­ing to the Weather Ser­vice.

Chan­nel 2 Ac­tion News me­te­o­rol­o­gist Karen Min­ton said Rabun County is the prime tar­get for snow and ice. While win­try pre­cip­i­ta­tion could be­gin as early as 4 p.m. to­day, it is ex­pected to ramp up head­ing into Sun­day morn­ing.

“Higher el­e­va­tions of north­east Ge­or­gia could have as much as 5 inches or more,” she said. “The

lower el­e­va­tions could have a cou­ple of inches.”

The Weather Ser­vice pre­dicts up to 10 inches of snow are pos­si­ble along the high­est ridges in Rabun and Haber­sham coun­ties, as well as up to two-tenths of an inch of ice. Travel could be­come very dif­fi­cult or even im­pos­si­ble, with con­di­tions de­te­ri­o­rat­ing as early as this evening, the Weather Ser­vice said in an ad­vi­sory.

Most of the win­ter weather will be con­fined to the north­east, but Min­ton said she can’t rule out patches of sleet on the fringes of metro At­lanta be­gin­ning early Sun­day.

“We could even see some freez­ing rain that creeps into parts of the metro area, too,” Min­ton said. “It’s stay­ing out of At­lanta, but cut­ting into parts of Gwin­nett, maybe even get­ting to­ward parts of Chero­kee County, so we’ll keep a close eye on it.”

The best chance of mea­sur­able ice ac­cu­mu­la­tions will be north and east of Homer to Gainesville and Daw­sonville, ac­cord­ing to the Weather Ser­vice.

For the rest of North Ge­or­gia, it will be mostly rain.

“Cold rain at that, and lots of it,” Min­ton said.

Three to 4 inches could fall to the south over to­day and Sun­day, while 1 to 2 inches is ex­pected for much of metro At­lanta and north­west Ge­or­gia.

The sys­tem is ex­pected to move out by Mon­day, but some left­over mois­ture in the colder air be­hind it could re­sult in more wide­spread snow show­ers, ac­cord­ing to the Weather Ser­vice. Min­ton said it is still too early to tell.

“With our win­ter weather in­tact for this week­end, it’s go­ing to be mis­er­able out­side,” she said. “You’ll want to stay with Chan­nel 2 and our Se­vere Weather Team, be­cause we’ll be up­dat­ing and mak­ing mi­nor ad­just­ments to the fore­cast, the tim­ing and where we’ll see the win­ter pre­cip­i­ta­tion.”

The Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion is mak­ing prepa­ra­tions for what­ever comes.

The agency has brine — the anti-ic­ing salt so­lu­tion crews spray on roads be­fore sleet, freez­ing rain or snow comes through — ready to go to treat roads.

“Our crews are get­ting ready, do­ing some of those last-minute tune ups on the brine trucks, on our plows, mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing is run­ning cor­rectly, check­ing oil, mak­ing sure the tires are in­flated, get­ting ready for what might po­ten­tially hit,” GDOT spokes­woman Natalie Dale told Chan­nel 2 Ac­tion News.

JOHN SPINK / [email protected]

Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion work­ers Mike Jett (left) and Bobby Garza pre­pare a brine truck for ser­vice Fri­day as se­vere weather ap­proaches North­east Ge­or­gia.

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